As soon as I heard about the possibility of an 11% pay rise for MPs I created a petition to oppose it. Up until that point I had heard constant stories about public sector pay freezes, redundancies, NHS privatisation and the suffering of vulnerable people. The concept of yet another 'reward' for those already privileged made me see red. Surely if there isn't enough money for pensions, NHS, councils and benefits then how is there enough for a pay rise that is way above inflation?
Over a quarter of a million people have signed my petition on Change.org. It is the second biggest petition on the UK site.
The comments on my petition show that a pay rise for MPs, at this apparently desperate economic time, is a huge insult to everyone who has suffered or is still suffering as a result of this current government. From pensioners to public sector workers, nurses to police officers -- people across the UK are raising their voices against this rise.
- Tony from Nottingham said: "I work for the NHS and have not had a pay rise for three years, the 1% we were promised this year has been cancelled due to the government not being able to afford it! How can they afford to award themselves 11% if this is true?"
- Eric from Lincoln said: "If any MP is living in a home with more bedrooms than they need, they must be forced to move out to a home with only the correct amount of bedrooms for their family, even if it means squashing multiple people into one small room."
- Sam from Durham said: "I am a serving police officer - I do not want a pay increase for myself - but many of my colleagues are earning less than £25k for a job with increased pressures."
- Sarah from Aberdeen said: "I am a single parent ... and I am sick of this "Sheriff of Nottingham" attitude that the government displays whilst the poorest of our country are struggling to keep their families living comfortably."
Time and time again people are saying "I thought we were meant to be all in this together." This Christmas more people than ever will be cold, jobless and visiting food banks; there are people who work full time and don't earn enough to meet their basic needs. The pay rises should go to those people, not to those who earn over £60,000 a year with extremely lucrative benefits.
David Cameron so far has told us what we want to hear, saying he thinks it's inappropriate to receive a pay rise at this time. Now we need action - he needs to stop that pay rise from entering MPs bank accounts.
In defending the package IPSA CEO Andrew Macdonald said "the public view is more sophisticated than many commentators have given them credit for in the past few days." I would like him to read the comments on my petition and see for himself what the public think about the proposals.
IPSA must see that public opinion is not with them. 280,000 people are saying think again.